4 February 2012

These need some love, man.

**Please excuse this text-heavy post.  I swear it's something worth reading!  But then again I wrote it, so you can say that I am a little biased.** -R 

Now, I'll be honest with you.  I had written a draft of this post about a week ago with the intention of simply (and quickly) raving about IKEA candles and expressing my bafflement at how they have been completely overlooked by candle hoarders that are drawn to Bath and Body Works like zombies.  

As I was about to publish the post, however, I wanted to be somewhat responsible with my recommendations, because I am by no means a candle expert, or an expert on anything at all.  I am just another slave consumer that wants the most bang for my buck.  Anyway, I started to do some light Googling.  After all, the price of the IKEA candles that I have been enjoying are almost 3/4 less that of B&BW.  I figured that if there is a difference in quality, then the price difference may be justified, and y'all B&BW addicts can rest in peace in spending as much as you do.  

I googled "IKEA candle ingredients" and came across this PSA from BC Hydro, which is a provincial Crown Corporation in Canada (meaning it is government-owned and regulated).  Whether this legitimizes their information or not is up to you and your individual political sways.  Nevertheless, it appears to promote the use of natural, soy candles to prevent the release of toxins and pollutants in your living space.  My heart skipped a beat (not in an excited way) when I read that some candle wicks may contain lead.  But I quickly breathed a sigh of relief when it continued to say that "Most North American-made candles do not contain lead and candles from IKEA are all lead-free."  However, according to this website, "There is currently no ban on leaded candles in Canada."  Therefore, do take care in your choice of candles, especially if you are a frequent/daily candle user.  The website also offers instructions on how to determine whether your candle wick contains lead.  It then goes on to caution against the use of candles that are made from paraffin, which is a chemical preservative that is found in foods (good lord.) made from from distilled petroleum (whatever that means, but it doesn't sound too good).  A quick google of it indicates that it is a common ingredient in many products.  Health Canada appears to carry the same tune with regard to its presence in candles and the potential harmful effects to your health.  In contrast, the National Candle Association (based in the US and comprised of candle manufacturers and suppliers, so take what you will from the following...) say that "Paraffin wax - like all candle waxes - is non-toxic."  And unlike Canada, "Lead wicks have been officially banned in the United States since 2003..."  Feel free (in fact, you are encouraged) to research this topic more than the mere hour that I have devoted.  I think it is definitely something worth informing oneself about.

IKEA Tindra Candle $1.99 CAD
With all that in mind, pictured on the right is the IKEA Tindra candle.  This particular one boasts 0.5 kg of product and a burning time of 30 hours.  It does contain a blend of paraffin and vegetable wax, but as mentioned above, the wick is lead-free.  It retails for $1.99 CAD and maintains its scent when lighted (as opposed to the so-called scented candles whose scents magically disappear when lighted).

Bath and Body Works Scented Candle $12.50
And here is the B&BW candle that orgasmizes the beauty community on Youtube.  I can't find a link for this particular candle, but here is another scent in the same size and in Canada, we have to pay $12.50 for it.  Boo.  As you can see on the picture, it contains an "Exclusive blend of vegetable wax."  Whether the absence of any mention of Paraffin necessarily means its absence in the candle is unknown.  After all, it doesn't have a full ingredients list (nor does the IKEA Tindra).  In any case, its wick is lead-free and it claims to burn between 25-40 hours and have 113g of product, which renders the Tindra to have almost 4.5 times more product.  So, quantity-wise and burning-time-wise, there is no question that you get more value for your money in the Tindra.  HOWEVER (and quite unfortunately), it remains unclear whether the price difference is on account of a difference in quality (namely, the absence of Paraffin).  To me, anyway.  I guess I could send an email to B&BW and find out.  


Here they are for a side-to-side comparison.  
So, there you have it.  Not to sound all preachy, but just like you would with anyone's reviews and recommendations regarding any given product, take all this in with a grain of salt.  After all, to be a smart consumer (of anything, really, not just products) is to inform yourself on just what you are putting on your skin, inhaling into your lungs, ingesting in your stomach, inputting into your mind, etc.

P.S.  For a commonsensical reminder about candle-burning safety, please refer to Amarixe's video.  Summary: please do not leave your burning candle unattended, no matter how unlikely it may appear that shit's gonna go down.  Because complacency is basically the trigger for the going down of shit.  So please.  Be smart. 


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